A man was left covered in blood after a ‘homophobic attack’ in Liverpool where he shouted defiantly “it’s because I’m gay” to onlookers.
Kolade Ladipo, 21, had been at a carnival on Monday, August 30, where his friends and DJ group Girls Don’t Sync were headlining.
At around 2.30am, the group were dressed in pyjamas walking into a kebab shop when Kolade claims a man called him a homophobic slur, reported the Liverpool Echo.
He said the man and a friend became violent and left him with a busted lip when Kolade’s pals confronted them.
Kolade told the Echo he was entering the takeaway when a man walked past him and made the homophobic comment to which Kolade replied “Yes I am”.
Earlier that night, a man in a club had also called him a homophobic slur and threw a drink at him.
Hearing this abuse for a second time that night, Kolade’s friend confronted the man.
Kolade said: “She said to him, ‘What? What’s your problem? Why are you trying to make a scene? Why are you being rude? Why are you being disrespectful?
“He immediately felt threatened and he immediately turned to violence. He started pushing her. And then his friend stood up and stood right in front of me and my friend.
“And I said, ‘no, because I let it slide. I was nice and cordial. I let it slide that he was being disrespectful. I let it slide, but now he wants to get aggressive. You’ve started this. You’ve started physically being really disrespectful.
“The whole time he’s pushing [my friend], he’s pushing me, and it’s getting violent. We’re being pushed by two grown men.”
Among the group he was with, was Gaia Ahuja, 23, member of Girls Dont Sync.
Gaia said: “It was brutal. It was very, very violent. Words and shouting, yeah, we’re used to that, but it was just the level of how violent it was that was actually shocking.
“To the point that we’re walking away with blood on us.”
What concerned them most, aside from the attack itself, was how no witnesses stepped in to stop what happened.
Although they admitted while they understand it can be scary to watch a fight unfold, they expect more from people who see homophobia and men attacking women.
Kolade said: “After it all had died down and I was still at the scene and the man had moved away, I was screaming, ‘Just because I’m gay, literally just because I’m gay’. Everyone could hear me. They could see me covered in blood. They could see it.
“And it’s like, ‘I’m stood here covered in blood, screaming, ‘It’s because I’m gay’, and no one is coming to my aid. No one is saying anything. Everyone is just staring.”
Gaia added: “It was literally traumatising. Being friends with someone who is visibly queer, and also not just the fact that he’s visibly queer, but also black, we’re used to it as well.
“Obviously we’ll always defend him and we’ll always stick up for him. We’ll always protect him. So it makes us think what would have happened if we weren’t there.”
Later that morning, Kolade went to enter his apartment building, topless and bleeding, when he claims another man called him a homophobic slur for the third time that night.
Kolade said the homophobic abuse he receives is so common it has become ‘normalised’ but the the LIPA student refuses to change who he is.
In July, he was abused and attacked twice in 24 hours which he believes was due to his sexuality. He spoke at a protest in June following a series of violent homophobic and transphobic attacks in Liverpool.
He added: “If I’m walking unapologetically in a space by myself, or with people, and I’m living my life unapologetically, there’s nothing I can do if somebody wants to hit me. They are going to do that.
“I really don’t like when people say, ‘oh stay safe’. I’m not conscious of that. I feel safe walking on the street, but it’s not up to me to be safe.
“I don’t inflict pain on myself. I don’t hit myself. I don’t punch myself. That’s someone else causing and inflicting their pain on me.
“Therefore, being safe isn’t a conscious effort of me trying to be safe.
“Why should I have to walk down the literal main road just to make sure that I’m visible? I shouldn’t have to not go down alleyways just to keep safe.
“It’s not up to me to stay safe. It’s up to the people who are violently attacking people to stop that and keep people safe.”
Kolade and his friends didn’t report the attack or homophobic slurs to the police as they feel that doing so can often result in a “long, traumatic process”.